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Extracts from VICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT TO THE 2016 AWSA AGM
The AWSA has had its best season ever. With the reduction in operational commitments, levels of participation are well up on previous levels and I expect this trend to continue. Snow conditions were reasonable, but this did not detract from some excellent competition.The full minutes can be downloaded here and the 2017 AGM will be on Wed 1 Nov 17 at the Cav & Gds Club in London.
The following provides a flavour of the Disciplines.
- Alpine. The Army Championships, held in Serre Chevalier for the 25th consecutive year, was a great success. Capt Duncan White YORKS was the Army Male champion for the first time, and once again Capt Lizzie Cranfield AAC was the Female Champion. There were some new faces in the Army Alpine Teams; despite this, both Teams won in Meribel at the Inter-Services Championships. WO2 Dougie MacPherson RLC won the Male with Capt Jen Kehoe RE second in the Female events.
- Cresta. Army Cresta continued to improve and fielded a strong team of six riders in the Inter-Services Championship. Capt Seccombe RY won the individual title again, with the team victorious in the team event for the first time in since 2013.
- Ice Sports. The Ice Camp in Igls was hugely successful with over 75 competitors taking up sliding on ice in the three pursuits for the first time. Taking these individuals further in the sports is still a challenge. The Army Championships was held at Winterberg from 29 Feb to 6 Mar 16, a week before the IS Championships, which was not ideal. The latter were held jointly in Winterberg the following week and success for once was limited. Only the female Skeleton team took the honours with Sgt (now Capt) Hayley Larcombe QARANC winning the individual female Skeleton title. The RAF showed strength in depth and took the other four Ice Sports titles.
- Nordic. Exercise RUCKSACK took place as usual in Ruhpolding and was successful, despite less than perfect snow conditions, although all races took place. There were 238 skiers from 33 teams participating. Both the Navy and RAF took part in the Inter-Services events, which was great news. There was also a UK Armed Forces (UKAF) team event for the first time against a Swedish Engineer Regiment, which was won by the UKAF team. 16 Regt RA was the Champion Army Nordic Unit Ski Team, and 1 Regt RLC won the Princess Marina Cup for the 8th year in succession.
- Snowboard. Snowboard’s growth continues apace. The calendar was revised in 2013 and there were two Championships, both held in Stubia, Austria. The first, Ex SNOW METHOD, was from 17 to 31 Oct 15, which comprised Freestyle events; the latter included Alpine ski cross, which was well received once again. The second, Ex SNOW JACK, was the main Championship and took place from 20 Feb to 5 Mar 16. The Army team for the Inter Services Championships in Meribel was selected on past performance and from results at the 2015 Ex SNOW METHOD. Both the Army Male and Female teams won their Inter-Services Championships. Maj Beszant RE was the female champion with Pte (now LCpl) Kinnear QARANC the runner up in the individual events.
- Telemark. The Army championship moved to Muerren (Switzerland) as it had outgrown the small resort of Rauris (Austria) from 9 to 21 Jan 16. Whilst the skiing was a resounding success, the administration for the event provided by Muerren left a lot to be desired, resulting in the 2017 event relocating to Pralognan La Vanoise (PLV) in France. The Inter-Services competition in Meribel went well, with all three Services taking part. The Army took the team honours with 2Lt Hurst RLC, new to Telemark, coming second in the individual event.
- Sponsorship. Sponsorship remains healthy with Team Army as the current generous mainstay, with only Thales providing other funding.
Army Sports Awards at RMAS 8 Nov 16. From his citation in the awards booklet ‘Maj Adrian Pery LD has been a stalwart of Army Telemark since its inception and has been instrumental in the foundation and progress from a small intiative to a fully established Winter Sports discipline. Highly dedicated, committed and passionate about this sport, Adrian has taken Telemark from a ‘pipe dream’ to reality and contined to press for its growth in both the Army, the Services and externally within British Ski and Snowboard (BSS)…. Having become the first qalified British Technical Delegate (TD), he has continue to forge a route for others to follow by specifying and supporting others who wish to follow…. Adrian’s involvement and support of the FIS Telemark committee has brought Telemark from virtual non-existance to a recongnised sport within BSS, as well as supporting the sport’s ongoing Olympic bid. His contribution to the very existence of Army Telemark skiing cannot be overstated.‘
A hugely deserved acknowledgement of all that Maj Pery has done for Army Telemark.
AWSA PRESIDENT’S CERTIFICATE FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE – 2016
The AWSA President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding service to Army Winter Sports, in either one or more Disciplines – only 6 can be awarded annually. In his position as President of the AWSA Lt Gen JG Lorimer DSO MBE presented certificates to this year’s deserving winners on 1st November 2016 at the Cavalry and Guards Club, London. Congratulations to the 2016 winners:
Maj (Retd) Belinda Beard – Snowboard
Maj Beard started her sliding career in 2003 and quickly secured a place in the Army Team. After a few seasons she took on the role of Secretary of Skeleton Bobsleigh and made an immediate impact, sorting out the equipment state and overall management of the team. She retired from sliding to ensure dedication of her time to managemen and soon assumed the role of Chairman. She has been a dedicated stalwart to both skeleton and ice sports over the years. Her hard work during her time as secretary and chairman can still be seen within the team today and has given a firm base to continue the development of skeleton.
Maj Adrian Pery LD – Telemark
Maj Pery has been actively involved in Army Telemark Skiing since the sport was first adopted in the Army in 2005. Throughout this time he has been both a participant and committee member as well as, more latterly, driving forward the development of a Technical Delegate route in the UK within British Telemark. Highly dedicated, committed and passionate about this sport, he has taken Telemark from a ‘pipe dream’ to reality and continued to press for its growth in both the Army, the Services and externally within British Ski and Snowboard (BSS).
WO2 John Craig RAPTC – Snowboard
WO2 Craig has been involved with Snowboarding since the sport was approved in 1998 as one of the disciplines of the AWSA. His enduring commitment over the past 18 years has been extraordinary, engaged as a competitor and official as the sport has developed from its embryonic speed slalom event to its current competitive classes of giant slalom, boarder cross and slopestyle requiring physical fitness, gymnastic ability and exacting technical skills.
300 Years for The Royal Regiment of Artillery
On 26 May 2016 The Royal Regiment of Artillery, generally known as the Royal Artillery (RA) celebrated its 300th Anniversary with a Review before Her Majesty The Queen, the Captain General at Larkhill, Wiltshire.
Since the end of the 2nd World War the Royal Artillery has played an important role in Nordic skiing and later also in Biathlon. On the occasion of their Tercentenary (“Ubique 300”) it is worth noting the achievements of the 25 Gunner athletes who have represented Great Britain in 12 Olympic Winter Games since 1956. Congratulations also go to the nine different Gunner Regimental Teams who have won the Army Nordic Championships.
Historical note: Guns were first used by the English in the early fourteenth century, but it was almost four hundred years before a permanent force of artillery was formed. On 26 May 1716 the first two permanent companies of Royal Artillery were formed by Royal Warrant in the reign of George I. The two companies numbered 100 men each.
Luge is not for the faint hearted as Sgt Gary Kendall shows in his fantastic video from the Army Ice Sports Championships.
EX RACING ICE – Major Richard Orvis, currently serving with 11th Infantry Brigade, is in Igls Austria to learn how to ride the skeleton.
Combined Services Inter Service Snow Sports Competition 2016
TEAM COMBINED CHAMPIONS
|Alpine (F): ARMY
Alpine (M): ARMY
|Snowboard (F): ARMY
Snowboard (M): ARMY
|Telemark: ARMY||Cresta: ARMY|
|Downhill (F): ARMY
Downhill (M): RN
|Slalom (F): ARMY
Slalom (M): ARMY
|Super G (F): ARMY
Super G (M): RAF
|Giant Slalom (F): ARMY
Giant Slalom (M): RN
|INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS||Ladies Ind Champ:
Sqn Ldr Wroe RAF
Ladies Ind 2nd:
Capt Kehoe Army
Ladies Ind 3rd:
Lt Henderson RN
|Mens Ind Champ:
WO2 MacPherson Army
Mens Ind 2nd:
Capt White Army
Mens Ind 3rd:
AB Wild RN
|Best Newcomer (F):
Capt Birtwhistle Army
Best Newcomer (M):
Spr Southall Army
Best Disabled Skier:
Cpl Winter Army
BOBSLEIGH – LUGE – SKELETON
|Prince Phillip Trophy||–||–||–|
|SBX (F): ARMY
|Slopestyle (F): ARMY
Slopestyle (M): RN
|Parallel GS (F): ARMY
Parallel GS (M): ARMY
|INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS||Ladies Ind Champ:
Maj Beszant Army
Ladies Ind 2nd:
Pte Kinnear Army
Ladies Ind 3rd:
NA Aldridge RN
|Mens Ind Champ:
LAET Taylor RN
Mens Ind 2nd:
Flt Lt Morris RAF
Mens Ind 3rd:
LCpl Gregory Army
Pte Kinnear Army
AB Sanderson RN
|Giant Slalom: ARMY||Classic: RN||Sprint: ARMY||Parallel Sprint: ARMY|
|INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS||Ind Champ:
Mne Dobie RM
2Lt Hurst Army
Cpl Johnson Army
2Lt Hurst Army
ARMY SPORTS AWARD 2014
The President, Chairman and all at AWSA would like to congratulate the winter sport athletes on their fantastic achievements at the hugely successful Army Sports Awards last night:
Extract from his citation: ‘WO2 Mark Scorgie has shown exceptional and enduring commitment to both able-bodied and adaptive alpine skiing. As a competitor he achieved the highest levels of military success, competing in six Inter Service Championships, and represented the Combined Services at the Australian Defence Force Championships, and twice at the British National Championships. As a coach, he is widely respected throughout the international skiing community and continues to add a huge amount as the Head Coach of the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team (CSDST).’
Runner Up ‘Sportsman of the Year’ – LSgt Deen Gren Gds
Extract from his citation: ‘A keen sportsman, he has represented his unit at Boxing, Basketball, Athletics and Football. In 2006, at the Army Minor Units Athletics competition, he was spotted by the Army Bobsleigh Association’s talent scout and he has concentrated on Bobsleigh ever since. During the next three seasons, LSgt Deen impressed his coaches, learned quickly and made rapid progress competing on the European Cup tour and moved up the world rankings. In January 2014, by finishing in the top 20 of the world driver rankings, LSgt Deen qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. At Sochi, LSgt Deen finished 23rd in the 2-man race as the GB 1 driver and 19th in the 4-man race as the GB 2 driver. This is a considerable achievement, all in just four years.’
Runner Up ‘Adaptive Athlete of the Year’ – Sgt (Vet) Mick Brennan
Extract from his citation: ‘In late 2004, whilst serving with the Royal Signals, Sgt Mick Brennan was caught in a suicide bomb blast, losing both legs below the knee and was in a coma for two weeks. He spent the next three years attending Headley Court and in 2008, he took part in the first adaptive Exercise Snow Warrior discovering his love of skiing. Over the next four years, he focussed his energy into becoming a world class sit-skier, an ambition that was realised with his selection for the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. He produced his lifetime best results finishing in the top ten in his three races. Most notable was his super G result, where he was only one of 12 skiers who completed the course out of a total of 31 starters.’
Congratulations to LSgt Lamin Deen – Bobsleigh Gold at the Park City Americas Cup
LSgt Lamin Deen and his team took gold position in the four-man bobsleigh at the Americas Cup event in Park City, USA (16 Nov 14). Lamin was joined by Keith McLaughlin, Richard Stead and Andrew Matthews and they won in a combined two-run time of one minute 36.66 seconds. They also claimed bronze in the first race on Saturday. Visit the BBC website to see a report on the event. The British team will compete in the third Americas Cup race of the 2014-15 campaign in Calgary, Canada, from 17-23 November.
WINTER SPORT INSURANCE
There are a number of Insurers providing cover for winter sport exercises which units and unit/individuals are free to choose from. However, Exercise organisers/individuals may wish to consider the services of Towergate Wilsons, a Team Army sponsor supporting the AWSA which has provided bespoke insurance packages encompassing our military and competition requirements and covering the generic needs of unit teams, individuals and discipline event organisers for many years. For further information contact +44 (0)1242 533792 (quoting AWSA) or visit their website.
Roller skiing is a very effective snow simulation tool (and even a sport by itself) but you want to keep a few things in mind. First, if you simply can’t get comfortable on pavement or around traffic you might be better off doing foot ski simulation instead. A terrified roller skier isn’t going to be able to get their heart rate up (maybe via fright but not via training and is far more likely to take a dangerous fall. Conversely, if you are rolling in particularly tough terrain or high altitude you need to make sure your heart rate does not climb too high. It is very easy to get swept up by the speed of roller skiing and forget to monitor your training zones. If you are operating at too high a heart rate with too little experience on roller skis you are more likely to make mistakes, which result in a fall or simply over train yourself. Finally, the biggest benefit roller skiing provides over bounding or running is in the development of technique and endurance strength. To yield the maximum benefit, roller ski workouts must contain a great deal of focused time isolating specific technical areas and muscle groups. Many skiers (of all ages) go out all summer and fall on roller skis and can’t figure out why they don’t make a huge jump in improvement the next winter. The answer usually lies in too much time rolling with “lazy ” technique; always skiing in terrain that is too steep or too flat; and/or generally just “going out” instead of going out with a specific goal in mind. Download a full copy of the guide for information on: Roller Skis, Poles, Boots, Gloves, Protective Gear, Where to Roller Ski, How To Roller Ski and Training Tips.
Biathlon Rifles – DIN
Weapons: Issue of Rifles and Conversions kits is done through DSG and DE&S. Units must have entered Ex PIPEDOWN or Ex SPARTAN HIKE to get priority bidding. Each unit will be issued only 6 weapons and 4 Conv kits until the 31st Oct but if a unit needs kit for Summer Trg they are to approach the Secretary direct with support from their Corps Captain. Where possible Female teams are to bid for their weapons as a central bid (with different UINs if req). POC for Wpns is Ian Heighway at DSG and Conversion Kits is Hazel May at DE&S. I can provide their contact details if units need them urgently – email@example.com. The DIN can be viewed on DII http://defenceintranet.diif.r.mil.uk/libraries/corporate/DINStraining/2014/2014DIN07-135.pdf.
Snowboard Cross – EX SNOWJACK 2014
Reminder on the Use of Military Vehicles
Event organisers are to note that Service Regulations apply at all times to service transport, including vehicles that are hired at public expense. Unless there is a specific exemption, civilians (including spouses of military VIPs) are not permitted to travel in military transport. This will have implications for event organisers, especially with respect to how visitors are looked after. Check out JSP 800 for details.
Sources of Funding for Army Winter Sports
Useful document listing Public and Non-Public Sources of Funding for Army Winter Sports – to dowload a pdf click here.